Adnan Kassar, a Lebanese businessman, has a Bachelor degree in Law from Saint Joseph University in Beirut. He is married to Raida and they have one daughter.
In 1972 Mr. Kassar was elected President of the Beirut Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a position he held for over thirty years.
Throughout the war years that Lebanon endured between 1976 and 1991, Adnan Kassar remained in Lebanon at the head of the private sector. He geared his efforts towards keeping Lebanon present in world meetings, symposiums, conferences, international fairs and exhibitions.
Adnan Kassars strong belief in maintaining the unity of the Lebanese economy urged him to establish and develop a productive coordination and cooperation between all Lebanese Chambers of Commerce. This led to the establishment of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Lebanon. He has chaired this Federation since its foundation and succeeded in placing it at the forefront of the Lebanese economy.
What distinguishes Adnan Kassar is the respect and credibility he enjoys in the Lebanese, Arab and international business communities. This paved the way for Adnan Kassar to be elected Chairman of the General Union of Arab Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for more than one term in the past and for a current term of two years. This came as a distinguished recognition for his continued contribution to the promotion of inter-Arab trade and investment and the establishment and development of the private sector in the Arab world. His diligent efforts have contributed to the creation of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area which will serve as a prelude for the establishment of the Arab Common Market.
Adnan Kassars international relations, his leading role and long experience at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) based in Paris and present in over 140 countries, coupled with his contribution to the wellbeing of world business to lead his election as Chairman of the ICC; a position which he held for a two-year period (1999-2000).
Right from the beginning of his term, Adnan Kassar proved to be a skilled and able leader of this World Business Organization. He successfully expanded its international activities and increased its role as the only true representative body of international business. His efforts were also geared towards promoting the role of ICC in the world economy and increasing the private sectors contribution to global growth and social development.
In his private capacities, Adnan Kassar is the founder and a partner of Adnan & Adel Kassar enterprises (A.A.KASSAR), a Lebanese based group of enterprises with activities in different economic sectors, and which is a leading investor in various sectors in Lebanon and overseas, managed through A.A.Kassars various overseas subsidiaries.
Mr. Adnan Kassar and his brother Adel acquired in 1980, Fransabank, the oldest bank in Lebanon. Under the chairmanship of Mr. Adnan Kassar,Fransabank Group developed into one of the largest and leading banks in
Lebanon, and the most prominent one with regard to its international affiliations. Today, Fransabank Group has the largest branch network in Lebanon, and a presence in France, Algeria, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Belarus and Cuba.
In addition, Fransabank has several strategic alliances with leading international banks, financial institutions and organizations. Amongst these are Credit Agricole of France, DEG/Deutsche Investment and Development Group of Germany and the Public Institution for Social Security of Kuwait.
Mr. Adnan Kassar, given his credible, strong and historic leadership in the Lebanese private sector, was appointed Minister of Economy and Trade of the Republic of Lebanon in October of 2004. The events that followed the cruel assassination of Lebanon's former Prime Minister, His Excellency Mr. Rafic Hariri brought political instability lead to the resignation of the government of Lebanon in March of 2005.
Then in November 2009, Adnan Kassar wasappointed Minister of State in the Unity Government formed by Prime Minister Saad Harriri. Mr. Kassar was named by the President of the Republic General Michel Suleiman and served as Minister of State until June 2011, when a new government was formed.
Privately, Adnan Kassar is an avid supporter of culture and arts in Lebanon and internationally, he holds the prestigious position as member on the Distinguished Board of International Advisors of the White Nights Foundation of America, which supports the Marrinsky theater. This Foundations commitment is to strengthen and expand the cultural, educational and business and to be a positive, apolitical force for peace.
In recognition to his distinguished and exceptional economic achievements on the Lebanese and international fronts, Adnan Kassar has been awarded several international decorations and official orders of merit, which include:
- The Lebanese National Cedar Order of Merit
- The Order of National French Merit (Officer)
- Commander of the Hungarian Republics Order of Merit
- Commander of the Order of Merit of Italy
- Commander of the Order of the Pleiade (Association of Francophone Parliamentarians)
- Commander of the Rio Branco order granted by the President of Brazil, H.E. Lula Da Silva
- Prize of the Foundation 2000 Crans Montana Forum
- China Honorary Award as True Friend of China for over 50 years
- Ascame Medal : Granted by the President of Ascame (Mediterranean Association of Chambers of Commerce & Industry) on 20 November 2009.
- Nelein Order (First Class) grandted by the President of the Republic of Sudan, Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir, November 2011, in recognition of Chairman Adnan Kassar’s valuable services which he has been rendering to the Arab countries and Sudan in particular.
- 31 January 2013 - Order of Friendship State Decoration of the Russian Federation granted by the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia.